“For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.”
Can ants count? It seems so! When a scout ant finds an item of food too big to carry, but especially good, the scout will return to the nest to get help. Scientists have discovered that ants apparently size up the task ahead so that they can return with just sufficient help.
One scientist cut a dead grasshopper into three pieces. The second piece was twice as big as the first, and the third was twice as big the second. He then left the pieces in different locations where ants could find them. He watched as each was discovered by a scout, inspected, and each scout returned to the nest for help. When the scout returned with help, the scientist counted the number of ants working at each piece of grasshopper. The smallest piece had 28 ants and the piece that was twice its size had 44 ants working on it, almost twice as many as the smallest piece. And how many ants do you think were working on the piece that was twice the size of the second? If you doubled that 44 to 88 you would be within one of being right – yes, there were 89 ants working to return the biggest piece to the nest!
The ants were carrying out the biblical principal to “count the cost of the project before you begin it.”
Photo: Courtesy of PHGCOM. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic license.
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